Stardock: Elemental sequel to make up for “mediocre” first game

Friday, 30th March 2012 07:41 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Stardock is making a sequel to Elemental: War of Magic because the first one wasn’t up to snuff and garnered harsh criticism – the exact opposite of the usual reason to make a sequel.

CEO Brad Wardell told Gamasutra that Stardock has a duty to make up for the disappointing War of Magic.

“The reason is that I feel there’s a principle involved. Stardock makes good games,” he said.

“I know people don’t like Metacritic, but our averaged Metacritic score is one of the highest in the industry, and we put out what was arguably a stinker, and so we have a duty to our fans to make good on that.”

The executive acknowledged that his stance is an unusual one.

“From a business perspective, what we’re doing is really dumb,” he added. “For starters, the Elemental name is tarnished because War of Magic was a mediocre game. So why make an excellent game that has that baggage?”

But Wardell believes Stardock has to “deliver” an excellent experience for “those people who trusted” the company.

“We owe our audience, we owe them the assurance that if they give us their hard-earned money, then we owe them a really good product. We’ve all worked hard for our great reputation, and this is our chance to make good on that,” he said.

Elemental: Fallen Enchantress will be given away for free to all those who bought the game during its first few months on sale, before multiple patches brought it into better shape; get more information on the scheme here. It’s due for release on PC some time this year.

Thanks, SplatteredHouse!



  1. Ercarret

    I never played the first Elemental but I really appreciate this move. Every company will make mistakes every now and again – it’s unavoidable. But it’s how you deal with those that’s important. This is exactly how something like that should be dealt with. Kudos to Stardock, really.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. endgame

    @1 Except that Startdock made almost only mistakes. It’s sad considering how their intentions always seemed to be really good.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Ercarret

    @2: With the first game, absolutely. And also with how they initially responded to the critisism aimed at it, both from fans and media. It was a proper clusterfuck.

    But since then I think they’ve done their best (and more than most would have) to apologize to their fans and re-establish their trust. I’ve certainly been swayed by their actions, and that’s definitely not something I expected to be after reading some of Brad Wardell’s comments at the launch of Elementals 1.

    Since then, however, they’ve acknowledged their mistakes and done what they can to correct them. Since I haven’t played Elementals I can’t say whether or not they’ve managed to patch it into something as good as it originally should have been, but I do believe that their work to rebuild their fans’ trust should be commended.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. seanw3

    @2: Almost only mistakes? GalCiv2 still is the best Space TBS out there. They helped launch Ironclad, which made the best Space RTS out there and will soon make a FTP League Legends type game that looks to be of very high quality. They have certainly had some blunders, but Stardock has also done some great things.

    From a beta tester for both the first Elemental and the sequel, I can say with some authority that the sequel is galaxies beyond the development process of the first game. One thing the article doesn’t mention is the new talent hired on and that much more money is being put into this one. Elemental: Fallen Enchantress will play much more like Fall From Heaven 2 if you know what I mean. ;)

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    Elemental was a great idea poorly executed.

    There’s no reason why you couldn’t make a proper Master of Magic game today, but Stardock were arrogant enough to think they could make something better by changing or updating everything.

    The reason why something like Civilization is succesful is because they’ve kept what worked, and added to that. At least until Civ V.

    Elemental has all the potential in the world though. They have the basis for something great, but obviously Brad Wardell wasn’t the man who could do it.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. hntr101

    I am a casual gamer that likes to play all kinds of different games, so I’m not an expert at any one genre. I can say though that I’ve spent many hours playing Master of Magic and found I really enjoyed that game. It has been many years since then and I have been searching for a modern version of this game for some time now. I now hesatate when people refer games to MOM because I have been burnt because they were not. In defense of Stardock and why Elemental isn’t exactly like MOM is because they could not secure the rights to the game is what I heard. I have played both Elemental games. The last one being the beta version. The first game had a lot of issues and was disappointing. After several patches I did play the game several times and still enjoyed it to a point. Elemental FE is far better. At this point it still has issues but I really enjoy where this game is going. I personally think it has the potential to far exceed MOM.

    #6 3 years ago

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